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Gary Novosielski

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Everything posted by Gary Novosielski

  1. Are you sure a Special Rule of Order would do it?
  2. Ah, I see the problem in the interpretation of the word reading. In the context of RONR's use of the term, Reading and Approval of Minutes means reading aloud. Reading may be waived if the draft minutes were distributed in advance. How long in advance would be a reasonable time is up to the assembly. But on the demand of a single member the draft minutes must be read (aloud). While the members would presumably familiarize themselves with the contents of the draft minutes, that is not what RONR means by reading.
  3. While it is typically allowed that a ban on holding future office may be imposed by discipline, this was apparently not done if the wording of the discipline included only a suspension for a fixed length of time. So yes, he could stand for election again. If those "certain members" who support him comprise a majority of those present and voting, he's golden.
  4. No. The election of a secretary pro tem would presumably not be a known requirement ahead of time, and there should be no need for a motion to call the roll. The chair simply announces "The Secretary will call the roll" if there is a rule or custom to do so. If there were an Agenda, none of these things would logically to be on it, since any or all of them would need to occur before the Agenda was approved, creating a logic race of sorts.
  5. I agree that it would be correct for a voter to have assistance in filling out the ballot, expressing the wishes of the voter, and preferably in the presence of the voter. It would surely not be correct for a voter to give his blank ballot to someone else to use. I seem to recall that in New Jersey, absentee ballots for public elections had a place for a notation on the intermediate envelope stating the identity of someone other than the voter who had assisted in its preparation, and another on the outer envelope identifying anyone authorized by the voter to hand-carry the ballot to the County Clerk, if that was to be the method used. (These rules apparently vary from the ballot harvesting custom in the North Carolina 9th Congressional District.) 😀
  6. Your interpretation is correct. Abstentions, while they do not count as No votes, nevertheless have the effect of No votes in that they deny passage of the motion. Membership interpretation of the bylaws is limited to ambiguities. It should be clear that no rule that does not contain the word quorum, gives no indication that the rule affects the quorum, nor that it applies notwithstanding the absence of a quorum, can be reasonably interpreted to pertain to the quorum. Rules that do pertain to the quorum invariably say so in no uncertain terms. The chair should rule any point of order to the contrary not well taken, and reject an Appeal as out of order. The language clearly refers to the vote threshold. Since "majority of those present" is a valid type of voting threshold (although rare for amending bylaws), it does not imply anything about how many must be present. Members who attempt to read into the rules things that are not there are not acting in good faith. And if there is one time (and I'm not saying there is) when respect for the quorum is needed most, it is when a vote is to be taken on bylaws amendments, especially when a relatively low majority vote threshold is all that is needed. Arguing that the quorum could be changed at an inquorate meeting is nonsensical. A society that has no respect for its bylaws is no better than one without bylaws. Or as Mark Twain is said to have remarked: "A man who will not read has no advantage over a man who cannot read." While I doubt he had bylaws in mind, the sentiment pertains. Good luck.
  7. Qu'est que ç'est "fax"?
  8. Since he says he has researched it, he should, in theory, have no trouble providing the page and line number for this strange rule. Hint: In fact, his troubles will be substantial, since it's not in there. RONR does have a rule against the mover of a motion speaking against the motion in debate, but it's perfectly allowable to vote against one's own motion. And once any further business has intervened, changing a vote is impermissible, even with unanimous consent.
  9. The election of a secretary pro tem is allowed, since any meeting, even an inquorate one, requires both a presiding and a recording officer. The calling of the roll is not a motion. If a motion on which a vote is being taken is one of those permitted, then a roll-call vote is in order. If you are referring to calling the roll for the purpose of recording attendance, then I'll first point out that RONR does not require this to be done. If by rule or custom your organization does record attendance, then it would certainly pertain to the conduct of the meeting, since it relates directly to whether or not a quorum exists. On the third question you may get multiple opinions, but I don't think [this one] should be allowed. It only relates to the conduct of the meeting if it should later obtain a quorum. Adopting it before that point would be frivolous.
  10. There is nothing there to justify such a crazy interpretation. That language just sets a threshold for the vote at a majority of those present.. An inquorate meeting has a few restricted things that can be done, but passing bylaws amendments is definitely not one of them.
  11. That would be an improper use of a signed ballot as a de facto proxy. Put a bookmark in Chapter XX.
  12. Yes, they are a thing, and signed ballots are not secret. Ballots (unqualified noun) are assumed to be secret.
  13. If you know to whom the ballot is supposed to belong, there's something wrong with your procedures. The point of a ballot is to preserve the secrecy of the vote. Is this an in-person vote or a mail-in vote? There are procedures for either that will ensure the proper level of secrecy, and prevent improper voting.
  14. Of course. It could also specify that the remainder of the board had to put their hats on backward and carry rubber chickens. It could be made as narrowly drafted and overly specific as the society's collective heart could possibly desire. 🙂 I still maintain that it would be best to simply adjust the quorum to something routinely achievable.
  15. A lot of the time, the secretary's correspondence about what took place at a meeting takes this general form: I do hereby certify that the following is a true and correct copy of a <motion/resolution> duly adopted at a regular or properly called meeting of the board of <The Society> at which a quorum was present: text of motion or resolution Certified: ____________________ Secretary In the case of accepting a resignation, for example, the board is free to insert "with regret" in the actual motion, after the word accepts. If it is desired to fancy it up a bit more, phrasing it as a resolution with a Whereas clause or two can make it more classy. But this is all at the option of the board itself. RONR has no rule that acceptance of a resignation requires any letter be sent to the resignor at all, and doesn't authorize the secretary to express the thanks of the board unless the board has actually expressed its thanks.
  16. Appointing a board member for a day from the audience would require a vote of the board, which cannot take place without a quorum. But If that would have solved your problem, then lowering the quorum by 1 would be a better solution.
  17. No. But it seems to me that the President should have made her statement during the time for Officer's Reports, if you are using the standard order of business. But at this point it's water under the Rainbow Bridge.
  18. You start out with debate on the Resolved portion. If debates are offered, you debate them and vote on them. When no (more) amendments are offered on the Resolved portion, and debate is completed, you simply move on to debating the Preamble. Amendments to the preamble are in order, and are handled the same way. None of these votes are votes of approval on any portion of the language of the resolution, they are simply votes to agree or not agree to the amendments offered. They do not imply approval of the resolution as a whole. When there are no more amendments or further debate, the question is put on the entire resolution as (potentially) amended. That is the only vote to approve or reject the actual resolution.
  19. Once both portions of the motion--Resolved, then Whereas--have been amended (strike "voted on and approved"), there is a vote to approve the motion as a whole.
  20. Well, and assuming voting is actually absentee. Many such systems are used for in-person meetings.
  21. Was there ever an actual post? It appears the entire question was asked in the title. In any case, all questions arising out of an election are the purview of the assembly holding the election.
  22. It depends on how the law is phrased. Many such procedural laws say "unless the bylaws otherwise provide". If the bylaws adopt RONR as the parliamentary authority, then they do otherwise provide.
  23. Was this notice submitted with the call either because it was required, or in order to lower a vote threshold where applicable? And was the motion actually moved at the first meeting and then Postponed, or was it simply not moved? The reason for the questions is that if the motion was simply not moved, it is not considered to have been officially postponed, and the notice does not automatically carry over to the next regular meeting. But if the motion was moved and seconded, and it was then moved to postpone it, it is still considered to have had previous notice. At least that's how I read it. Stay tuned.
  24. It would be in order to move it, but if I were a delegate I would never vote Yes on such a motion to give carte blanche permission to the board to change the bylaws. We have pointed out in other threads here how a single comma can completely change the meaning of a sentence: Let's eat, Grandma! Let's eat Grandma! And allowing "other" changes imposes no limits at all. RONR contains suggested language that is much more specific, authorizing the Secretary, for example: ... to correct article and section designations, punctuation, and cross-references and to make such other technical and conforming changes as may be necessary to reflect the intent of the Society.... And such a motion would usually be made in connection with a specific question, not as a blanket power.
  25. If the rules in RONR apply, a board president has no veto power whatsoever. The presiding officer may rule that a given motion is out of order when it is first moved, and give reasons for this ruling at the time, but believing it to be a bad idea is not a valid reason. It would have to violate some black-letter rule. Once a motion is passed by the board, that is the decision of the board and not subject to veto. If your rules give a veto power to the president, that's another matter, since your rules would supersede those in RONR.
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